he Republican House and newly elected Republican Senate intend to try to revise the Communications Act (the Act) in the new year. The Act rewrite effort has been underway for several years but, with Republicans firmly in control of both houses of Congress, finally has a real chance of making it to the president in 2015 or 2016.
As part of this effort, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has released a sixth White paper seeking comment on the video marketplace. The latest House white paper provides an opportunity to provide feedback to Congress on current regulations governing the market for video content and distribution in light of changes in the video marketplace, including IP-delivered programming.
The white paper seeks comment on various topics relating to the creation and distribution of video content, including:
- What regulations should apply to broadcasters—does the public trust model continue to make sense, and are rules still necessary to protect localism?
- How have market conditions changed since the 1992 Cable Act, and should cable systems continue to be required to provide access to their distribution platform in a variety of ways?
- How can the Act be amended to reduce the disparate treatment of satellite and cable technologies?
- How should the Act balance consumer welfare with the rights of video content creators, and should existing rules governing the relationships between content creators and distributors be changed?
- How should the Act address over-the-top video services?
Comments on video programming should be filed with the Committee by January 23, 2014.